Commentaries

The VaR cover-up

October 14, 2009

By Pablo Triana

Pablo Triana is the author of Lecturing Birds On Flying: Can Mathematical Theories Destroy The Financial Markets? The views expressed are his own

Automatic debt-to-equity swap?

October 8, 2009

That’s what Fed Governor Daniel Tarullo seems to be advocating in his speech, which you can find here.

Volker cuts through it

September 17, 2009

Paul Volcker, the former Fed chairman whose nerves of steel broke the back of double-digit inflation 30 years ago, shows that he’s still one of the few in government that wants to call the tough shots.  Too bad he isn’t more influential. If he were, I doubt Wall Street would be talking about getting back to business as usual.

Why banks should welcome “living wills”

September 15, 2009

A year after Lehman Brothers collapsed, policymakers are still getting to grips with the key question raised by the Wall Street firm’s fall: how to ensure that the failure of a large bank does not jeopardise the entire financial system.

Cleaning up the mess that remains

September 14, 2009

At least the Obama administration isn’t saying “Mission Accomplished.”

Obama urging Wall Street to do the right thing

September 14, 2009

In his speech, Obama emphasizes that big banks should take it upon themselves to give back to the community after the tax payer has done so much to put them on them on the road to recovery. While I agree with the point in theory, I’m not sure Wall Street is built to think about the moral imperative of creating a better society when it’s primary goal is to make money.

Squeeze is on for investment banks

September 10, 2009

Peter Thal Larsen.jpgInvestment banks are facing a big squeeze. For an industry that was generating record revenues just months after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, this may seem unlikely. But the revival looks set to be short-lived. Increased regulation and greater competition means the super-charged returns the industry generated for most of the past decade are likely to prove elusive.

Orange squeezes the UK’s mobile competition

September 8, 2009

Merging T-Mobile UK with Orange will bring 3.5 billion pounds of value to shareholders, and “substantial benefits to UK customers.” Goodness, why on earth didn’t they get together years ago? A merger that simultaneously enriches shareholders and customers is rare indeed, and one to be treasured – if this really is one of those seldom-seen beasts.

Wall Street’s $4 trillion kitty

August 24, 2009

matthewgoldstein.jpgThe Obama administration’s plan for reining in derivatives leaves unchecked one of Wall Street’s dirty little secrets: the ability of a derivatives dealer to redeploy cash collateral that gets posted by one of its trading partners.

Team Obama punts again on derivatives

August 11, 2009

The Obama administration formally sent its plan for regulating derivatives to Capitol Hill today. And to no one’s surprise, the key proposal in the 115-bill is a plan to regulate “standard” derivatives on regulated exchanges of clearinghouses.